Much like the Language of Flowers and other courtship rituals of the past, there was an entire conversation hidden in your love spoon. For example, an anchor might symbolize settled love, while interlocking chains were pretty self-explanatory. A wheel could signify a willingness to work for your partner; a shield would offer protection. Balls in a cage could refer to love held safe or show a number of children. Arwyn, you dog!
One neat and tidy idea is that instead of banning Lupercalia — which Romans celebrated for a remarkably long time — Christians adopted and renamed it. This stems from a strongly-worded letter by Pope Gelasius circa 494 B.C.E., where he criticized fellow Christians for participating in something that used to showcase naked people whipping each other.
No matter who you were in the ancient world, the seasons were of vital importance. You marked the ebb and flow of time by your harvests, which ensured your survival or demise. While the typical ancient person went through life believing gladiator blood cured epilepsy or that tiny demons lived in cabbage, they were at least on top of seasonal changes. And it didn’t escape their attention that after the longest night, daylight began to creep back into their lives.
It was, in turn, a dish for the rich and the poor. Its long shelf life and simple ingredients made it popular fare for travelers, and as technology progressed, so did production. But the biggest thing to happen to pasta was undoubtedly the day some genius figured out that it paired well with tomatoes.